On Tuesday, Sports Illustrated published the first part of Jonah Keri’s annual “trade value” rankings, in which Keri ranks the top 50 players in baseball by how much they would fetch in a theoretical trade.

The concept began with Bill Simmons ranking NBA players at ESPN and followed Simmons to Grantland, where his then-colleague Keri applied the same process to baseball players.

Now Grantland is gone, Simmons edits The Ringer, and Keri has taken the “trade value” conceit to SI.

Well, hours after Keri’s rankings posted, Simmons tweeted something at Keri that seems pretty explosive—except that we’re pretty sure it’s a joke.

There are many reasons to think Simmons is kidding around here. For one thing, Keri published the same trade value column at SI last year and Simmons didn’t say anything. For another, Dave Cameron has done essentially identical rankings at FanGraphs for years.

Simmons also wouldn’t have much ground to stand on if he were actually mad. He came up with the idea to rank athletes by trade value, but it’s not copyrighted or anything. If Awful Announcing wanted to do a trade value ranking of sports media personalities, no one could stop us. The concept is in the public domain.

Plus, if Simmons were actually angry at Keri, wouldn’t he call, text or email him, not call him out on Twitter?

Only a very petty person would complain publicly about a former colleague bringing an idea from one job to the next.

Therefore, the big question here is: Is Bill Simmons a very petty person?

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.

  • Michael Martinez

    Simmon has gone after Dave Cameron before on twitter for “stealing his idea”. That and the fact Keri hasn’t responded to Simmons seems to point in the direction of Simmons being his usual pissy self.

  • Brendan

    FWIW Tom Ley at Deadspin says “with extreme confidence” the complaint was sincere (although he didn’t elaborate as far as I could tell). I’m curious about the logic/evidence behind either interpretation. The tweet itself doesn’t seem to give any indication that it’s a joke…. I’ve almost always been a staunch Simmons defender, but if he’s earnestly, publicly going after Keri (an excellent writer and by all accounts a really nice guy), that’s a terrible look. I hope it’s not true.

  • thex11factor

    this literally broke the internet for Boston Sports Fans

  • Sergeant2

    Bill Simmons is becoming dangerously close to becoming, “Bill Simmons, who is Bill Simmons?” Grantland was his summiting Mt. Everest, but since than it’s like he has vanished into thin air.

    • Mike

      Exactly. Once he and ESPN parted ways (bitterly), Simmons has pretty much sunk into oblivion. That can’t be good for his ego.

  • 9 Paisley Toes

    What the hell is in Simmons’ cheeks (nae)? Is he hoarding food for wintah, or working on his Vito Corleone for this summer’s appearance “Godfather: The Musical?” Also, what a dickslap.